A supplemental report to a randomized cluster trial of a 20-week Sun-style Tai Chi for osteoarthritic knee pain in elders with cognitive impairment

Pao Feng Tsai, Jason Y. Chang, Cornelia Beck, Yong Fang Kuo, Francis J. Keefe, Karl Rosengren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Objective: This was a secondary data analysis of a cluster-randomized clinical trial that tested the efficacy of a 20-week Sun-style Tai Chi (TC) program in reducing pain in community-dwelling elders with cognitive impairment and knee osteoarthritis (OA). The study also examined whether elders' level of cognitive function was related to the outcomes of the TC program. Method: Elders (N = 55) were recruited from 8 study sites. Each site was randomly assigned to participate in either a 20-week TC or an education program. Verbal report of pain was measured by a Verbal Descriptor Scale (VDS) at weeks 1, 5, 9, 13, 17 and 21 (designated as times 1-6). Pain behaviors and analgesic intake were also recorded at times 1-6. Results: At post-test, scores on the VDS and observed pain behaviors were significantly better in the TC group than in the control group (p = 0.008-0.048). The beneficial effects of TC were not associated with cognitive ability. Conclusion: These results suggest that TC can be used as an adjunct to pharmacological intervention to relieve OA pain in elders with cognitive impairment. Trial registration: Clinical Trial.gov NCT01528566.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)570-576
Number of pages7
JournalComplementary Therapies in Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015



  • Cognitive impairment
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Pain behavior
  • Pain report
  • Tai chi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Complementary and Manual Therapy

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